Previous page NB: The rules that apply at the doctoral school where the student is registered apply to the whole of the doctoral course.


What are the admission criteria?

The doctoral network is open to students with a Masters degree or equivalent diploma. Selection is based on the following criteria:

  • academic results and the standard of knowledge in at least one of the disciplines required by the research subject,
  • proven interest in public health or research issues,
  • the quality of the proposed thesis.

The doctoral student must also be registered with a partner doctoral School.

Is there an age limit for applicants?

There is no age limit for admission to the network or for requests for grant.

How do I apply?

Fill in the application form and return it before:

  • Doctoral Network – 31 December 2015
  • Doctoral contracts – 10 May 2015

The doctoral students will be required to register with a partner doctoral School.

How do I apply for a research grant?

Applicants should check the appropriate box on the application form.
If the application is acceptable, the applicant should present his research project to the Scientific Steering Committee of the doctoral network (date to be agreed).

What particular conditions apply to a foreign doctoral student?

Foreign doctoral students should ensure that they comply with the conditions for staying in France.

Can this course be combined with paid work?

1. If the doctoral student has obtained a grant from the doctoral network or his doctoral school and signed a doctoral agreement which may include additional paid work representing 1/6 of the duration of the work (cf. Decree of 23 April 2009).
2. If the doctoral student has a CIFRE doctoral grant with the participation of a private employer.
3. If the doctoral student already has a job.
4. If the doctoral student does not have any income and wishes to undertake paid work.

For cases 1-3, the doctoral student should contact his employer if appropriate.
For case 4, the doctoral student should make arrangements to follow the course in the agreed timescale.


What are the languages used ?

French and English should be required to facilitate communication between international students and lecturers.

When does the course begin?

Usually on 1 October.

Should one start the course during the 1st semester of the university year?

Yes, at the same time as registration with the doctoral School.

Are there compulsory courses?

Yes, the doctoral student must take an additional public health course that is worth 30 ECTS. These courses encourage interdisciplinarity.

What is the syllabus?

The syllabus covers the various fields of public health: biostatistics and Information sciences, epidemiology, human and social sciences and health behaviour, hospital management, health and welfare action and health policies, environmental and occupational health, nursing and paramedical sciences.

Where are the courses held?

The doctoral thesis is prepared as part of a team at one of the doctoral Schools.
The additional courses are held at the EHESP (Rennes or Paris) or at the doctoral School belonging to the doctoral network.

Do the 30 ECTS required correspond only to the courses offered? Is it possible to count participation in other courses, research seminars, teaching experience, etc?

The Scientific Management Committee sets the list of courses (courses, seminars, etc). Teaching experience cannot be included. However it is possible to validate credits with training uncatalogued subject to approval of the management of the doctoral Network.


Must the thesis be written in English?

The thesis can be written in French or in English.
If it is written in English, a detailed abstract in French will be required and a detailed abstract in English will be required if the thesis is written in French.

Does the thesis have to be argued in English?

The thesis may be argued in French or in English and students should make an effort to present it in the other language (presentation, answering questions, etc).

Who decides on the subject of the thesis?

1. If the doctoral student wishes to research a particular subject and does not have a supervisor, he should submit the subject of the thesis to find a supervisor attached to one of the doctoral Schools belonging to the network.
2. If the doctoral student wishes to work with a particular supervisor and does not have a subject for his thesis, the supervisor can suggest one or more subjects.
3. If the doctoral student does not have a subject nor any preference for a supervisor, the doctoral School may suggest a subject and a supervisor if his application is accepted.

How do I find a thesis supervisor?

A PhD supervisor must be found before applying. The PhD supervisor must be accredited to direct research and must be from one of the partner doctoral schools of the Doctoral Network.

The are 2 ways to find a PhD supervisor:

  • If the PhD applicant wishes to work on a specific subject and does not have a PhD supervisor, he or she must contact the partner doctoral schools or the possible PhD supervisors in order to find their PhD supervisor.
  • If the PhD applicant does not yet have a subject, he or she may contact the partner doctoral schools or possible PhD supervisors to apply for the thesis topics that they have to offer. The applicant may also consult the websites suggesting thesis topics, such as the website of the Association Bernard Gregory.

The Doctoral Network is at the disposal of the applicants to guide and assist them to identify a PhD supervisor. The documents will be sent early December to teachers who may be interested in directing a thesis. Then, you can send your application before the 30th of November to, enclosing a CV and a covering letter outlining your skills and your professionnel project or a thesis project (3 pages) describing the context, issue, objectives, methodology, collaborations planned, schedule and publications planned.

Is there a possibility of joint supervision with research centres that are not part of the network?


Who is responsible for setting up the thesis committee?

The thesis committee is set up by the thesis supervisor or partner doctoral School.

How many people are there on the thesis committee?

There are at least 4 people, including a foreign scientist (strongly recommended)

Is it possible to invite guests to the thesis committee?

This should be discussed with the thesis supervisor.

Is it possible to hold the thesis committee meetings abroad?

This should be discussed with the thesis supervisor.

Obtain funding

In order to embark on a PhD thesis, applicants must find a source of funding that will allow them to receive an income for the 3 years of the programme.

– Doctoral contract offers –

The doctoral contract is a 3-year contract whose remuneration is set by ministerial decree. It may include missions other than the research activities involved in preparing the PhD. In 2010, remuneration amounted to a gross monthly income of €1684.93 for research activities alone and a gross monthly income of €2024.70 when complementary activities were involved.
Further information about doctoral contracts my be found on the Legifrance website.

  • Every year, the Doctoral Network awards doctoral contracts based on the results of an entrance examination. To apply for a Doctoral Network doctoral contract, see the Applications section.
  • In partnership with the School of Advanced Studies in Social Sciences (EHESS), the School for Higher Studies in Public Health (EHESP) and the Doctoral Network for public health, and coordinated by the EHESP, the French National Cancer Institute (INCa), is launching a call for applications for doctoral grants. Read more
  • The french ministry of education, Higher Education and Research is lauching a call for applications for doctoral grands handicap. Read more
  • The french ministry of national defence is lauching a call for applications for doctoral grands in International Relations and Strategy. Read more.

You will find PhD funding opportunities on the following sites:

– For foreign students or those who wish to study abroad –

  • Offers from French laboratories and universities
    Are you are foreign student wishing to study for a PhD in France? Go to the PhD in France website where you will find offers from French laboratories and universities.
Modified on 16 February 2016